Around 1960 the informal style of photographs made with handheld cameras, popularized by magazines, also began to appear in the annual reports of American corporations. Many freelance photojournalists welcomed the new source of commissions, and an assignment to illustrate the 1960 annual report of Bankers Trust Company granted Cartier-Bresson access to the inner workings of the bank, which otherwise would have been hard to penetrate.
Neither Chinese Communism nor American capitalism conformed to Cartier-Bresson’s idea of a just society. Yet he carefully studied specific circumstances and activities and described them patiently without resorting to rhetorical effect. Only the bosses are regarded with a skeptical eye.